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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  October 19, 2009 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT

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to pay billions in bonuses and the firms are spending millions on lobbyists to defat regulations. what if anything can be done? although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass controlling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it. >> is it a man's world? how far have women are really come when it comes to breaking that glass ceiling? why are there so few women in the running for top political positions and will 2010 be different? plus, new priorities for poll. the obama administration says it is a waste of time to bust most medical marijuana users and suppliers. is it the first step toward legalizing marijuana? and red, white and wrong, a firefighter takes the heat for showing his patriotism. is his union crossing the line when it comes to the american flag? the big picture starts right now. good afternoon, everybody, goods afternoon, tamron, i'm david shuster live in washington. >> i'm tamron hall live in new
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york. authorities in colorado are deciding what charges to file against the parents who claim their son float aid way in that giant gal loon last thursday. investigators now say the entire event they say was planned by the heene family to get on a reality it television show. the sheriff says they are examining the possible that other people could have been involved perhaps even media outlets. the family's attorney appeared on the "today" show just this morning saying he told authorities that richard and muyumi heene are willing to turn themselves n. >> i have said, look, these folks are willing to turn themselves in the minute you give me a phone call. i will have them in your office within ten minutes, all right? do not do the perp walk for media consumption and arrest these people in full view of these children. that's child abuse. >> nbc's lee cowan is live for us in ft. collins, colorado. so we understand we have breaking news regarding when charges might really be filed
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here. >> reporter: we don't know exactly what the charges would be, the news if we were thinking this would be over soon, guess again. the larimer sheriff's office as they will not be ready to file anything to the district attorney until at least some time next week. so we are still several days away, at the very least, according to the sheriff's department, from any charges actually being fired. the most serious of those charges is felonies, most serious, trying to inflews when a public servant that could carry a prison term up to six years and some $200,000 fine. again, the have session still ongoing. the sheriff yesterday said add a lot of work to do people think he didn't have that much work to do presumably saying what he thought the charges would be. people thought this would move relatively swiftly that does not look like it would be the case. the sheriff's office announcing a short time ago charges not expected to be presented to the district attorney another week or so tamron? >> what do we know about the possibility of other
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conspirators and the investigation into that? >> reporter: the sheriff's office didn't rule out more people could be involved in this alleged scheme, specifically, media outlet, as you have mentioned, wouldn't say what media outlet that was and wouldn't say specifically that yes, in fact, they were aware or on board with this hoax but said he didn't want to rule that out. he suggested that some of his detectives could actually go out of state. he didn't say where but to interview perhaps a production company or that media outlet he is talking about what knowledge they had of this hoax if they had any knowledge at all we do know that richard heene was around for a reality show, specifically contacted -- contacting one production house in santa monica. they said they were talking to him but weren't talking to him anymore when this happened. a lot of this up in the air. you are right, the motivation for this clearly seems to be to get himself back on a reality show. >> nbc's lee cowan. thank you very much, lee. tamron, now to the bigger
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picture, richard heene and his wife may face jail time and $1 million in fines plus restitution of the balloon chase. and that is just from state charges and possible charges. authorities also examining possible federal charges after the balloon saga disrupted air traffic out of denver. gypping us is former prosecutor kendall coffey. how likely is it that richard heene and his wife might end up with jail time in all of this? >> i think the fly-away balloon story would be serious. they dragged their kids into a scream. there is no specific crime of a hex on the media, trying to break it down to specific statutes, state and federal to see what are the best charges. the sheriff may have done the press conferences but the district attorney, perhaps the u.s. torn that actually has to do the legal analysis to see way criminal charges can be
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justified under extraordinary facts. >> how much of the credibility of the sheriff's office could be a problem for prosecutors? you lack back last thursday, the sheriff's office flat out tells the media, yes, we are sure the boy is in the balloon. friday, they say we are sure this is not a hoax. sunday, it was a hoax. today, the sheriff's office tells the defense attorney, expect charges mid week, now hear nothing charges until next week. at what point does the sheriff's office's credibility become a problem here? >> well, for sure in a state case, the defense will make a big issue out of the fact that the sheriff himself was misleading, in fact the entire country through the media and certainly, you know, one good hoax doesn't is he dee serve another. i think it is to be questioned he had any business in a way that was misleading to you and your colleagues. if you don't have anything truthful to say that is helpful, don't say anything. >> why should we necessarily believe that the sheriff's office is going to follow through and recommend charges? it seemed like a slamdunk
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yesterday, now he is backing away, maybe the sheriff's office will take a closer look at this and realize this isn't such an easy case after all. >> they will go ahead with the charges. talk about the runaway bride, they have to figure out what specific elements that work. for example, were there actual false statements directly made to police officers in the state of colorado? that is a false police report. that works. some of the other stuff that they are talking about bringing, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, maybe not such an obvious thing. the kids are basically in okay condition most of the time. they would have to show the parents consciously involve the child in law breaking. maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. i'm just saying there is a bit to sort through and i think the sheriff is realizing he has to get a lot of evidence and persuade his district attorney that the charges are legally sound, not just sort of media catchy and press catchy but legally sound. they will get some charges, but i don't think it is 1,000% clear at this point what those specific crimes are going to be. >> we learned today that richard
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heene was charged with mismeaner vandalism, vehicle tampering, disturbing the peace in 997. he pleaded no contest to one count of vandalism, placed on two years' probation and ordered to serve 30 days in jail. i don't suppose that can really factor into the prosecutor's decision here? >> no, it is not going to factor in. it is not -- it is not close enough. the law requires that kind of crime to be used in analyzing this kind of crime or evidence of it has to be really similar. the meantime, the big question is let's assume the folks get charged, i think it will happen with respect to parents, they might even go to jail, also likely, because this was much more calculated. again did involve their children, in effect, the accompli accomplices. will he still be shopping for a reality tv show and book deal after he is released from prison if he goes to prison? one of the many questions he answers as we go forward on this case. >> kendall coffey, thanks for coming in. always great to talk to you.
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>> hey, thank you. tamron this whole thing gets weirder and more bizarre, sheriff's office not looking any better today than they were over the weekend with. >> the point of comparison here, i know that kendall brought up the runaway bride. the attorney for the heene family the "today" show, david, brought up richard jewell and said this family was treated like richard jewell, the man under the media scrutiny and accused in the olympic bombing in atlanta in 1996. but his -- their attorney is setting them up to appear as victims, hounded by the media. so we will see. >> going to be interesting. >> yep. david, the white house has launched a new offensive against wall street. top officials are taking aim at wall street firms planning to pay billions in bonuses this year after benefits from taxpayer money. well, what's more, some of those firms are also now apparently spending millions on lobbyists to fight new government regulations. >> not only do they come for a bailout, in the short period of time where they have the level of normalcy because of what the government did to help them,
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they are now back trying to fight a consumer offices and the type of protections that will prevent another situation where the economy is taken over the cliff by the actions taken on wall street and the financial market. >> so most offensive thing is we haven't seen the kind of increase in lending we should, a lot of small businesses, credit-worthy businesses around this country who still can't get the capital they need to grow which is important for our economy and you have seen the same institutions spend tens of millions of dollars lobbying the congress to try to stop financial regulatory reform. >> we are joined now by nbc news white house correspondent, savannah guthrie. a lot of interesting developments today, include be robert gibbs and his daily briefing talking about this as well and they took a very pointed question about a fund-raiser from you regarding the president and the wall street relationship. >> reporter: right. i was asking him whether or not at this high-dollar fund-raiser tomorrow night, whether any of
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these very same wall street executives that the senior officials have been lambasting the last couple of days will be there. you know it is a $30,000 a plate fund-raiser and i was just asking the question whether or not those folks would be there and anything unseemly about it. i didn't get an answer to the question i was pointed to the dnc. i asked the dnc and they don't give out those listsville to wait and see who shows up. the white house appears to be going out of its way on the sunday shows to take a swipe at these wall street executive. on the one hand, good populist politics for them. the other hand, seems to reflect a real frustration that the very folks who took bailout money are not lending the way the white house feels they should be but out there spending lots of money lobbying against the very reforms the white house claims would stop a financial cries says that would lead to bailouts in the future. so, we really saw some strong rhetoric from the administration. what we probably won't see a lot
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of is strong action and the reason is, look, they can't do anything much about the fact the folks paid back the t.a.r.p. money, paid back the bailout money and out from the federal government's hands. the federal reserve may be able to take a couple of action, for example, the type of compensation, not so much on cash, pay more in the way of strongs, those kinds of things but in terms of that dollar amount, those eye-popping numbers shall doesn't sound like there is a lot the government can do. >> with that said, the white house at all concerned that that rhetoric will be seen by people as just that, them complain but no teeth, nothing behind it? >> reporter: look, they have proposed rules for executive compensation, they have proposed financial regulatory reform and that is real. you know, in the next couple of days, a week or so we will hear from ken fineberg, the payczar, the person in charge of determining what those people that are -- those companies that still owe the t.a.r.p. money are still on the government dole what they can pay.
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what i have heard to expect is when the payczar comes out, all ready, banks this is what you can pay it will sound pretty bad to the banks, they will feel bad, they will think, god, really putting limits on us, but to the rest of the world to main street it will still seem like a lot of money. >> also, i guess the white house payczar that you just mentioned reportedly is going to demand that bank of america ceo ken lewis take no compensation? >> reporter: sounds like he worked out a deal and said to ken lewis, don't take compensation for this year and presumably, what we have read in the papers, lewis agreed to that let's not miss something here, he is retiring at the end of the year and apparently has a compensation package in the neighborhood of almost $70 million. so he will be all right. >> yeah, we are not worried. savannah guthrie, thank you very much. how about that david, tell him or suggest don't take any pay for twine but you got 24570 million coming. >> yeah, savannah i think has it exactly right in terms of the politics, tamron, the country is so outraged over this, banks got the bailouts, back to making
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money, now they are spending money on lobbyists, yes, there is nothing the government can do, except, i suppose, go out on the sunday shows and hammer the banks but then possibly take money from them at a dnc fund-raiser, amazing. it is wicked. tough choices in the swine flu outbreak. should flu victims take priority over other seriously ill parents? plans are already being drawn up in one of the country's largest states. plus, should the federal government be in the business of busting medical marijuana users and suppliers? what new guidelines say about legalizing plot. crossing the line, a firefighter told his locker was no place for that. you caught a glimpse of it, the american flag. what's going on there? you are watching "the big picture" on msnbc. excellence is here for the taking. it's gmc truck month. shop the gmc yukon that offers 20 highway mpg, and over 108 cubic feet of maximum cargo space.
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connecticut police today are searching for suspects connected to the stabbing death of a college football play they are weekend. investigators just a short time ago said 20-year-old jasper howard died from a single stan wound to the abdomen early sunday morning, just hours after helping the university of connecticut to a homecoming victory over louisville. he was the star corner become for the team and two of his teammates were with howard when he was stabbed. one performed first aid while another comforted him. the incident happened during an oncampus dance and police say another individual was also stabbed and they are questioning those who attended that party. police have not yet released the second person's identity. and health officials in florida are considering, david, new guidelines that could determine who might live and who might die in the event of a flu pandemic. >> tamron it sounds controversial, but state officials say that this would maximize the number of lives saved. state officials say that if
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hospitals become overwhelmed with cases of the h1n1 virus, patients with incurable cancers and other conditions should not be admitted to take up crucial hospital beds. the guidelines also call for doctors to remove patients with poor prognosis from ventilators. joining us from cleveland is dr. michael anderson, chief medical officer at university hospital's case medical center. dr. anderson it does sound a little -- critics say there is your death panel right there. shouldn't people be concerned when hospitals are talking about who should get care and who does not? >> good afternoon t is a pleasure to join you. i think it is an important debate we have to at least start to talk about the first message that h1n1 remains an outpatient disease, the great number of patients recovering and doing fine. the second message even before these very sensitive discussions and decisions, hospitals need to be prepared what is called surge, can we take care of an increase volume of patients in our intensive care units and outpatient wards? hospitals across america are
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dealing with that the third very kell gatt issues are, we get to the point in the pan testimony bl, we don't think we are going to with h1n1, no one is very sure, do we have to have these sensitive triage decisions it is controversial, i gift state of florida credit for starting these discussions. >> what about, for example, in cleveland? i mean, have you guys had the conversation that -- at your facility and again, how do you try to have the conversation without setting off alarm bells for people who live in the area of your hospital? >> we have had the initial important discussions and that is how do we work as a health care system? we at university hospitals have six -- how do we coordinate beds house, do we flex up staff, how do we bring in people from the finance department to help serve food? how do we have the surge maps that if this thing starts to really rachet up, we are ready as a health care system. the second important discussions that we've had that hopefully are happening across the country we also have other big health care systems in this town, how do we talk together to make sure that we can help prepare for
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this pan testimony inc., if it hits northeast ohio hard? so in at digs to the sensitive discussions, i think these are the more important discussions to really prepare for what's called a surge. >> anderson, back to the more sensitive matter, removing patients from ventilators and such, who would make that call at a hospital? >> it is a very difficult call f we do rachet up to that level, we invoke really a disaster system, a disaster care where we make decisions. and there's one virkd the medical person in charge that makes decisions what patient goes to what particular bed what patient goes in and out of the icu. so if we had to get to a point where those sensitive discussions were taking place there would be one triage individual go ward to ward to make these decision. >> interesting stuff. dr. michael anderson, thank you so much. thank you for joining us. we appreciate it tamron, relieving to know they don't think we will get to the stage of h1n1 but frightening if you think about it if there was this horrible pandemic, very difficult choices to be made. >> horrifying detail there is,
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david. as the doctor said, sensitive you have to talk about it pretty scary. up next, your world view, a possible runoff, david in afghan elections and how it might delay dea decision on sending more u.s. troops if that turns out to be the plan. and later in the show, one man's drunken quest for more beer becomes the stuff of internet legend. ♪ ♪ ♪ when it comes to protecting the things you care about... ...leave nothing to chance. travelers. insurance for auto, home, and business.
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afghan-led independent commission would accept the findings from the u.n.-backed fraud panel and call for a runoff.preliminary election results last month show karzai winning with 54% of the vote. allegations of fraught prompted that investigation. now to southeastern iran near the pakistani border. the chief of iran's revolutionary guard is accusing the united states, britain and pakistan of having links to sunni militants in yesterday's suicide bombing. the bombing kill 4d 2 people, including five senior guard members. mexico, southern baja region, hurricane rick is closing in. the storm weakened to a cat 2 hurricane, pack winds up to 105 miles per hour. rick is now 340 miles south-southwest of cabo san lucas, expected to weaken even more over the next couple of days. tamron, just ahead, new pressure for the public option, why harry reid is now coming under fire from the left on health care reform. breaking the glass ceiling
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in politics. we are kicking off a series on a woman's nation. this is the big picture on msnbc. we all know america needs real health care reform, but there's a right way, and a wrong way, to pay for it. some senators say they want to tax so-called "cadillac" health care plans, but those proposals will also tax the benefits of millions of middle class workers. there's a better way. let's ask individuals making more than $250,000 to pay their fair share. tell congress to choose the right way to pay for health care reform.
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on the kohler forte kitchen faucet. i'm julia boor citizen, your cnbc market wrap. dow trading up 95 points, s & p 500 up almost 10 points, nasdaq is up over 17 points. carl icahn is offering as 6 billion loan to cit group. icahn says the loan would save cit group $150 million in fees. hasbro says its profit rose nearly 9% in the third quarter, in part due to low costs and sales of transformers and g.i. joe toys. analyst top estimates, $154 million. up from $138.2 million a year
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ago. that's it from cnbc first in business worldwide. back to msnbc. 4. tonight at 6 p.m. eastern, three top senators will be with the white house chief of staff rahm emanuel to merge two senate bills. t the senate health committee clinton includes the public option.
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>> he is not demanding it is in there? >> he think it is the best possible choice. >> meanwhile, a progressive group is taking the exceptionally aggressive step of running an ad in the home state of senate majority leader harry reid, calling on him to fight harder for the public option. the ad questions reid's toughness. watch. >> in 2010, i will only be voting on one issue. i'm watching to see if harry reid is strong and effective enough as a leader to pass a public health insurance option into law. >> nbc's kelly o'donnell joins us live from capitol hill who shut pressure going over on reid's office and what do we expect tonight? >> reporter: good afternoon, david and tamron this is pressure on harry reid, who is very much aware of some of the dissatisfaction he is facing back home. he is up for re-election. while he is the top democrat in the senate, what has a key position, he also has to fight the battle on the home front and the ad that you just played a
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clip of is the story of a woman who has been suffering health problems and feels that private insurance has not served her well. harry reid has taken the very public position that his goal is to get a bill done. while he has said he thinks the public option has some merit, he has been one of those voices saying it is not a absolute must because he is counting the votes that is one of his real strengths, knowing what is happening among his democratic base and those and the members of the caucus and where they are. and he, at this point, from all indications publicly, doesn't think that a public option is going to make it through. so, that is definitely one of the issues yes may be vulnerable back in nevada, his home state, where he is up for re-election. if, in fact there are enough people voting on that issue as the woman in the ad seemed to indicate. tonight at 6:00 eastern, they are back at it with one of those sessions that is about trying to meld these two bills and from all indications we are getting, there's still some work that
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needs to be done and one of the problems for the white house and of course, they have a seat at the table with rahm emanuel, is that there is still a voice at that table that says the public option should go forward and that is chris dodd of connecticut. david, as you know, he also has re-election troubles back home in his state of connecticut. david? >> kelly, there was in the midst of all of this, rnc chairman michael steele putting his foot in his mouth. he told univision, "i don't think we need a comprehensive overhaul of our health care system because our health care system remains the best in the country and provides largely the services that people need and the quality of those services are very, very good there are costs associated with the system that needs to be addressed more directly." how quick were democrats to jump on that? >> reporter: that is the is the kind of thing that democrats see to reinforce an image that they have certainly tried to attach to the republican and that is the party of no or that they do not want to be see big change.
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republicans who are officeholders, members of congress, which of course mr. steele is not, although he is the lieutenant governor of maryland, they say the republicans in senate and congress do want to very reform but they differ on how it should be accomplish $. they express a lot of concerns about cost and they oppose using a government-run plan but they claim that they also want to see changes that improve the system. david? >> nbc's kelly o'donnell, fascinating time on capitol hill, fascinating as always. we appreciate t. today's closeup, a woman's nation. all this week, the networks of innocence are focusing on the evolving role of women in society from business to government to home. >> today, david, we are specifically looking at women in politics ant final glass ceiling some say that needs to be cracked, the office of the presidency is the last barrier for american female politicians to conquer. it was these words from hillary clinton at the end of her bid that captured the political struggle and progress for women in politics.
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>> although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass controlling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it. >> and there's been two women on the national tick ittet representing the major political parties n 1984 geraldine ferraro was the democratic vice presidential nominee and took 24 years for the next woman to be on the ticket, sarah palin as a republican vice presidential nominee next year there may be speculation surrounding palin but no obvious female candidate for 2012 or 2016. joining us is nbc news white house correspondent, chuck todd and anne corn blult from the "washington post," covered hillary clinton's campaign for president and working on a book, "notes from the cracked ceiling, hillary clinton, sarah page what happened it will take for a woman to win." chuck, interesting insight and first read in regard to a woman possibly reaching the oval office and three women who are seeking to become governors of their state.
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>> go back to 1984. when 1984 and 2008 are in common, when ferrer reand pailen were picked, their perspective nominees were thought to roll the dice, a risky proposition, didn't have a real shot, something to shake things up, the thought was put a a well on the ticket and try to do that. that is the only two times that seen t now look at major presidential candidates we have had in 24 years, both were spouses of either a president, hillary clinton, or a former nominee, elizabeth dole. so the problem is where is the bench of women presidential candidates? and there haven't been a lot of governors. in 2010, three -- the three biggest states, texas, florida and california, all could elect women governors. that would suddenly put the bench of potential presidential candidates, kay bailey hutchison
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in texas, alex sink, a democratic running in florida and meg whitman, a republican in california. any of the three states led by women, probably where you are going to see the next crop of women presidential candidates, if they come, 'cause outside of sarah palin and hillary clinton who cast their own shadows itment is obvious who is next. >> anne, i will bring you in. what it will take for a woman to win, a line from your book. i will ask you what will it take for a woman to win? >> absolutely right,ing it is going to take a bench that bench has been lacking at the governor's level and congress where there have been great strides the last 2 -- 24 years, they have plaid tteaued in the e and senate. are not mention nancy pelosi broke her up marble ceiling and this but no desire to run for president, said that repeatedly, now hillary clinton saying she doesn't want to run. i ask this question of what it would take, a lot of women over
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the time that i worked on the book. basically, all said the same thing it is going to take time, it is not right around the corner, may not even be 2012 or 2016, as you mentioned there aren't that many people who might be able to. >> that is incredible, chuck, i want to bring up numbers, half of all american workers are women, 2009, 50% almost, 1969, 35.3%. we always talk about inside the beltway, that washington sometime he is and many times does not reflect what is happening in the real world. women in politics is that a reflection of the accomplishments we are seeing from women, every day workforce, whether it is in corporate america or just in education? >> i will say this it has always been surprising to me we haven't had more women candidates win over the last two or three election cycles, not to say and anne pointed out there have been -- there has been some strides but it has sort of hit a plateau a little bit. it is surprising to me, women
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candidates automatically are seen as not -- less corruptible than male candidates whether it is fair or not fair, i know there are some groups trying to get women to run on reform messages for that very reason, because the public automatically assumes a male candidate is more likely to be corruptible. >> i wonder why they think that chuck. >> i'm not touch that. >> i will give you the last one on this. after hillary clinton lost her bid, there was an assumption by some that having sarah palin, the women voters would instantly just follow the next woman in line, no matter of their thoughts politically. how do women voters factor into this? will the woman candidate always just that the woman? >> it's interesting, as we saw this year, proved out what i think researchers have known for some time, women don't automatically switch, that partisanship is much stronger than any kind of gender issue in elections. women vote their party first and maybe their gender second if at
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all. i think what we saw this year, no, there is not that automatic assumption there is, and i think hillary clinton's candidacy alone proved it an appetite for among many women for there to be more women candidates. >> fascinating, thank you, chuck, and anne. greatly appreciate it. >> thank you. >> david, chuck saying voters assume that women are less corruptible than men. that is the best banner of the day. >> i'm not sure i want to go near it but i have a feeling if there is something to that i don't think the voters necessarily wrong. may just be because there have been less high-profile cases of corruption. >> more men in politics, would you have more good examples than bad examples. david you can bad example, the louisiana justice of the peace who refused to mar ray black man and white woman today again says he has no regrets about his controversial decision. >> keith boardwell refused to marry beth humphrey and terrence mckay because he was worried, he was worried, he says, about the
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couple's future children. >> countless numbers of people that was born in that situation and that they claim that the blacks or the whites didn't -- didn't accept the children. and i didn't want to put the children in that -- in that position. >> boardwell says he didn't break any law because he didn't prevent the couple from getting married. in fact, he says he referred them to someone else. boardwell also says the couple did get married so he doesn't see what the problem is. one problem might be that the state's republican governor, bobby jindal, and democratic senator, mary landrieu, tamron, both called for boardwell to be fired, however, there has been no statement to reporters by louisiana's other senator, republican david vitter. we have called david vitter's office twice and haven't gotten any calls back. so does vitter support this justice of the peace? we will keep you posted. >> can't wait to hear what he finally says about it. up next, david, the feds
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relaxing their policy toward medical marijuana. >> is this the first step toward legalization in today's making their case. ♪ when it comes to protecting the things you care about... ...leave nothing to chance. travelers. insurance for auto, home, and business. (announcer) the world is changing. and how we use energy today, cannot be how we'll use it tomorrow. there is no one solution. it's not simply more oil, more renewables, or being more efficient. it's all of it. our way of life depends on developing all forms of energy. and to use less of it.
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in today's making their case, a change in priority wednesday it comes to government policy involving medical marijuana. >> tam reporting the government says that pot-smoking patients or their sanctioned suppliers should not be targeted for federal prosecution, as long as they are following the laws in their state. under a new justice department memo, prosecute letters be told arresting those who use and provide the pot is not a good use of their time, provided both the buyer and the seller are in strict compliance with state law. medical marijuana is already legal in some form in 13 states colored green on this particular map, legislation to make it legal peppeding in 5 more, the states colored yellow. and that is 28 states and
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counting. a new gallup poll shows support for legalization reaching a new high, to so to speak. 44% of americans say it should be legal, up 36% since 2005, while 54% are opposed or not sure. is it a good idea for the feds to pull back? here to make their case, ryan grim, senior congressional correspondent for the huffington post. ryan, make the case. you're also the author, by the way of "this is your country on trucks" get that plug in there why should the government focus its resources else? >> the reality of the current situation is that marijuana, not just medical marijuana, but marijuana is already legal in california. if you are an adult out there and you want to get a medical marijuana card, you can probably find one. that is not necessarily a bad thing t has been that way for several years and the sky has not fallen in california. the sky has fallen out there for other reasons but not because they have legalized marijuana. in fact in 2010, there are
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probably going to be facing a ballot measure to legalize it for everyone across the state and tax it. and they have estimated that taxes could pay like 100,000 teacher salaries a year, something that california desperately needs in a time like this. >> but, ryan, about what about the argument that even if this is costly for the federal government to pursue this and save money by not, it still sends the wrong message to people here is a drug we are not going to pursue people who are taking it? >> well if you look at the states that have legalized medical marijuana over the last decade or so compared to states that haven't, the states that legalize it has gone down relative to the states that didn't. so one thing you might be able to draw from that is that turning marijuana into a medicine makes it a little bit less attractive and takes some of the stigma away from it. it is much less corner to be on the corner smoking something for cancer and aids parents than something people tell you you are supposed to stay away from.
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the empirical data does not support the argument that the opponents are making. >> an interesting theory, what's cool, how it is perceived for medical purposes. i got to ask you, ryan, as you point out, people sell it for money and eventually, the states will relax their laws because of money? >> yeah. and so what if they do. people get -- get high and as i write in the book, getting high for hundreds of years in america, nothing we do changes that, only changes who profits from it and what particular drug they do at any time. if you look at the memo that the department of justice put out today, they mentioned that marijuana provides the biggest source of revenue for mexican drug cartels. it is actually more accurate to call these mexican drug cartels pot cartels. so we ought to be asking ourselves why are we sending so much of our own money to support these drug cartels, which are
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basicalically are narco terrori operations, if you legalized it, taxed it regulated it would deprive the cartels of most of the revenue. people would still get high. >> ryan grim of the huffington post and author of "this is your country on trucks." thanks for coming on. >> we appreciate it. >> tamron, people say this is a policy long overduke the war on drugs, war on pot is not working, focus the resources elsewhere. >> that is a good question. we will see what happens. just ahead, david, this is a shocker. why was a firefighter told he could not keep a sticker of the american flag? it's our crossing the line. and later, we will tell you about levi johnston, moose meat and a photo shoot for "playgirl" magazine. >> what? oh. would you like to go for a ride on that bike ? ok ! ok. whoooa, heyyy ! see, the terms require that you keep the bike
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welcome back in today's
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"crossing the line." several people have joined forces in support of a pennsylvania firefighter caught between pride and a hard place. james crop is refusing to take down an american flag sticker on the outside of his work locker, saying, quote, it's a matter of pride. >> i said, no disrespect to you, but i said i'm not taking the flag off. i would hope that the city would recognize, you know, that it's the american flag. we should be able to fly wherever we. i don't believis offensive to anybody. >> james may have his pride, but right now, the veteran firefighter does not have his job after 11 years. he has been suspended without pay as of thursday. the sticker policy was put in place after a cartoon on another person's locker decided it was offensive. the department decided it was best to ban all statements, politically, included. several people showed up for a rally in support of crop, but he
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still does not have his job back. the union says it hopes to reach a compromise in this, but many are wondering why it had to come to this. what happened to handling it on a case by case basis. the rule is needed to handle racist stickers that apparently end ended up on someone's locker. could this have been avoided if someone said, hey, it's the american flag. send us a message at msnbc.com. it's 11:30 at night in afghanist afghanistan. new reports of voter fraud could lead off to a runoff election. will that delay troops? we'll talk to richard engel on the ground in afghanistan. plus, new questions about the men and women who protect the president and other public figures. is the secret service being pushed to the breaking point? and waiting for criminal charges in the balloon hoax case.
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what will happen to the heene kids? it's all here on "the big picture." >> hey, seth, how is it going? >> get out of here, balloon. >> why? >> because you're not news. >> but i was in the news the whole day. >> that doesn't make you news, balloon. >> what if i told you i had a boy inside of me? >> do you have a boy inside of you, balloon? >> no. >> you need to get out of here, balloon. yoplus. it's a yogurt for digestive health. here...blackberry pomegranate. i can't find my hand. (announcer) yoplus and new yoplus light. (announcer) digestive health alternatives... ...from yoplait. the power to fight breast cancer is in your hands. yoplus and yoplus light... ...are now participating in save lids to save lives. send in your pink lids, worth 10 cents each... ...and help raise up to 1.5 million dollars. help us win the fight against breast cancer at yourlidmatters.com. we all know america needs real health care reform, but there's a right way, and a wrong way, to pay for it. some senators say they want to tax so-called "cadillac" health care plans,
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but those proposals will also tax the benefits of millions of middle class workers. there's a better way. let's ask individuals making more than $250,000 to pay their fair share. tell congress to choose the right way to pay for health care reform.
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this hour, on "the big picture." >> it has been determined that this is a hoax. that it was a publicity stunt. >> as prosecutors consider felony charges against richard heene and his wife, the family's lawyer today told law enforcement to put up or shut up. >> until i can look at what the evidence is in this case, you know, we're left in the dark in terms of what the sheriff's department claims they've got. >> plus, an overwhelmed secret service. a new report shows the agency that protects the president is
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being pulled in too many directions. a rise in death threats against president obama. a rise also in hate groups, and fighting financial crimes are to blame. is the president's safety being compromised? later, the president hammers the latest claims by the health insurance industry. >> it's smoke and mirrors. it's bogus, and it's all too familiar. every time we get close to passing reform, the insurance company produced these phony studies as a prescription, and say, take one of these and call us in a decade. >> the rhetoric is strong, but the presidents actions are still soft, according to many of his own supporters. and a debate is under way about the president's political toughness. plus, levi johnston's experience with moose meat. all that and more, this hour, on msnbc. good afternoon, i'm tamron hall, live in new york. >> hey, tamron, i'm david schuster live in washington. and the

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